Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tuesday, January 12/10 in London


After much to-ing and fro-ing, here are the travel notes from yesterday and today. Hopefully, they are at least chronological if not logical!

We had dinner with Maggie and Brian at Montana’s and bought books for the trip at the airport. Bill had to take off his boots for security and I sailed through after the usual patdown for my “new” hips. Having a sister-in-law who works for Air Canada is always a bonus, especially since she’s one of my best friends. She told us that the flight was oversold to London and there was a chance we could get to sit in executive class – you know, those neat pods at the front of the plane – not. Oh well, we didn’t really expect it so… But they look soooo comfortable. We had a two-year-old next to us who absolutely did not want to be belted in and screamed blue murder for quite some time until he fell asleep utterly exhausted along with his young mother and father who were totally beside themselves. Same thing happened at the end of the trip. We did not have to pay for anything, meagre lunch, etc. Oh yes, the bottled water on Air Canada from the land of oodles and oodles of fresh water was from Tennessee, imagine! The flight was long and smooth and we saw the sunrise when we were over Ireland. Neither of us slept a wink the whole time although we did try.

The hike from the plane to the baggage was loooooooong. We whistled through customs and got to the baggage and then kind of got a bit lost. The next time, we’ll know what we’re doing but we circled around until we finally found our guy with our name on it who was going to take us to the hotel. We got in a Renault car - very nice. What a trip into London! As we went along, the driver (from Madeira, my dear!) told us all the street names and places which I’ve read about for years. We were both pretty zonked so didn’t take everything. The traffic is horrendous! Bumper to bumper and the space between vehicles was inches. It took about an hour to get to the Royal National Hotel in Bloomsbury. We went past Canada House – and there’s a picture of Dad in London in 1939 with some buddies waiting to be allowed to join the RAF – I’ll post it later. All the mail about being accepted was addressed to Canada House.

Trafalgar lions in the snow 71 years later - taken from the bus, obviously.

The hotel is very “basic” – no connectivity in the room, only in the lobby. So I sat in the lobby yesterday evening and checked emails on battery. Then we found that the converter we bought in Annapolis wouldn’t take three prongs. We got that fixed this morning though. Our plumbing is raised just like the North so the pipes don’t freeze and were added later. It was part of the list of hotels listed with the Air Canada package – I should have gone up a notch. But it’s fine.

We had supper here – nothing fancy buffet style but it cost 50-pounds. There are vending machines in the lobby for drinks, Ben and \jerry’s ice cream and a place to charge your “device” like an iPhone.

I think we may be OK in the sleep department. We had a 4-hour nap yesterday afternoon and then went to bed around 9:30 last night. We got up at 9 and had our included (sort of) breakfast at the same buffet place this morning.

So now we’re off to one of those “hop on, hop off” all-inclusive bus tours. Those who know me well, know that the hopping part does not apply here!

Talk to you later. – 1100 hours Wednesday in London.

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